Man checking roof heater
By Service Scalers / Blog / 0 Comments

Energy-Efficient Water Heating Solutions: One Call Plumbing’s Expert Guide

Upgrading to energy-efficient water heating solutions can significantly cut costs and conserve resources. Whether you’re a homeowner looking to reduce your utility bills or someone interested in environmental sustainability, you can achieve remarkable savings and efficiency by choosing the right water heater.

Explore different options, such as tankless water heaters and modern electric heat pumps, to find the best fit for your home. With our assistance, you can balance up-front costs and long-term savings, optimizing your home’s energy use.

Understanding Water Heaters

Water heaters come in various types and use different technologies to heat water efficiently. Knowing how they work and the differences between them can help you make an informed decision.

Types of Water Heaters

Tank Water Heaters: These are the traditional models that store heated water in a large tank. They can run on electricity or gas, making them versatile.

Tankless Water Heaters: Also known as on-demand water heaters, these provide hot water only when needed. They save space and are energy-efficient, as they do not store water.

Heat Pump Water Heaters: These use electricity to move heat from the air or ground to heat water. They are more energy-efficient compared to traditional electric water heaters.

Solar Water Heaters: These use solar panels to capture energy from the sun to heat water. They are typically used in conjunction with traditional systems to maximize efficiency.

How Water Heaters Work

Tank Water Heaters: Water is heated in a tank using an electric element or gas burner. The tank keeps the water hot until needed. It’s insulated to maintain the temperature and can provide a large volume of hot water.

Tankless Water Heaters: These units instantly heat water using electric coils or gas burners as it passes through the system. There’s no need for a storage tank, making them more compact and potentially saving on energy costs.

Heat Pump Water Heaters: These heaters work by capturing heat from the surrounding air and transferring it to the water using a heat pump. They are highly efficient but may require more space and are best suited for warmer climates.

Solar Water Heaters: Water is circulated through solar collectors where it’s heated by the sun. It can then be stored in an insulated tank for later use. They are an eco-friendly option but depend on adequate sunlight and might need supplementary heating on cloudy days.

Energy Efficiency in Water Heating

Energy efficiency in water heating can save you money on energy bills and help the environment by reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This section delves into the benefits of energy efficiency, the importance of energy efficiency ratings, and the technologies that make water heating more efficient.

Benefits of Energy Efficiency

Choosing energy-efficient water heating solutions can lead to substantial savings on energy costs. Efficient models like tankless and heat pump water heaters consume less energy by heating water only when needed or using advanced technologies to minimize heat loss. This not only lowers your energy bills but also reduces your carbon footprint.

Energy Star certified water heaters are a great example of high-efficiency units. These models meet strict criteria set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, guaranteeing superior energy performance. By opting for energy-efficient water heating solutions, you also benefit from longer device lifespans and reduced maintenance costs. Maintenance plays a crucial role; efficient models often require less frequent servicing, reducing long-term expenses.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Knowing the energy efficiency ratings of water heaters is vital. The Energy Factor (EF) rating indicates a water heater’s overall efficiency, with higher EF ratings representing more efficient models. The Uniform Energy Factor (UEF) is another critical metric that has replaced EF for a more accurate measure of energy efficiency. A higher UEF means better energy performance and lower energy consumption.

When shopping, look for the Energy Star label and high UEF ratings to ensure you’re purchasing the most efficient model. For instance, tankless water heaters often boast higher UEF ratings compared to traditional tank-style heaters. Consult these ratings to compare different models and make an informed decision that balances upfront costs with long-term energy savings.

Efficient Water Heating Technologies

Several advanced technologies enhance the energy efficiency of water heaters. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, eliminating the need for a storage tank and reducing standby energy losses. These units are compact, saving space and ensuring hot water is available instantly when needed. This efficiency translates to significant energy savings.

Heat pump water heaters draw heat from the surrounding air and transfer it to the water, using less electricity compared to conventional heaters. Hybrid water heaters combine heat pump technology with traditional methods, offering versatile and efficient performance. Solar water heaters harness solar energy, providing an eco-friendly alternative with minimal operating costs after installation. Each technology offers unique benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.

Improving Existing Water Heating Systems

Enhancing the efficiency of your current water heater can significantly reduce energy costs and extend the life of the appliance. You can achieve this through regular maintenance and proper insulation.

Maintenance Tips

Routine maintenance is crucial to keep your water heater running efficiently. Start by inspecting the thermostat settings to ensure they are optimal, usually around 120°F. This temperature provides sufficient hot water while conserving energy.

Regularly check for sediment build-up at the bottom of the tank. Draining and flushing the tank once a year removes these sediments, improving efficiency and extending the heater’s life. For electric water heaters, inspect the heating elements for any signs of wear or damage.

Additionally, the anode rod should be checked every three years. This component prevents rusting, and replacing it promptly can protect the tank. If you notice any leaks, they should be addressed immediately to prevent extensive damage.

Water Heater Insulation

Proper insulation of your water heater and its pipes is another way to enhance efficiency. Insulating a water heater reduces heat loss, ensuring the water stays hot longer, which means the heater doesn’t have to work as hard.

For tank-style water heaters, use pre-cut jackets or blankets that are designed for this purpose. These should be wrapped around the tank, ensuring not to cover the thermostat or the top and bottom of the heater. This simple step can reduce standby heat losses by 25-45%.

Pipes leading out from the heater should also be insulated, particularly the first six feet. Pipe insulation helps maintain the water temperature as it travels, reducing the need for reheating. Choose foam pipe insulation for this task, which is easy to install and effective at retaining heat. 

Innovative Water Heating Solutions

Innovative water heating solutions offer significant energy savings, increased efficiency, and reduced environmental impact. Exploring tankless, heat pump, and solar water heating systems reveals key features that make them stand out.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, or on-demand water heaters, provide hot water just when you need it, without a storage tank. They are compact and energy-efficient since they eliminate standby heat loss.

Tankless units heat water directly via electric elements or gas burners. This eliminates the need to maintain a reservoir of hot water, reducing energy consumption. In homes with limited space, their compact form is advantageous.


  • Instant Hot Water: No waiting for a tank to fill up.
  • Energy Efficiency: Typically 24%-34% more efficient than traditional models.
  • Space-Saving: Their small size allows for installation in tight spaces.

A tankless system can provide continuous hot water for multiple applications, ensuring you never run out. 

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump water heaters are energy-efficient devices that transfer heat from the air or ground to heat water. Instead of generating heat directly, they use electricity to move heat.

These systems can be up to three times more efficient than conventional water heaters. They are particularly effective in climates where temperatures remain above freezing. Heat pumps are also versatile, capable of integration with existing HVAC systems.


  • Higher Efficiency: EF ratings can be as high as 3.0.
  • Reduced Operating Costs: Lower energy consumption translates to cost savings.
  • Environmental Impact: Lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard electric models.

Choosing a heat pump water heater can significantly cut your energy bills while reducing your carbon footprint. 

Solar Water Heating Systems

Solar water heating systems harness the sun’s energy to heat your water, offering a sustainable and cost-effective solution. These systems generally consist of solar collectors and a storage tank.

Solar heaters can provide up to 80% of a home’s hot water needs, depending on the climate and specific system installed. They work alongside traditional heaters for cloudy days or periods of high demand.


  • Renewable Energy: Utilizes an abundant natural resource.
  • Long-Term Savings: Reduced utility bills over time.
  • Environmental Benefits: Significantly lowers carbon emissions.

Investing in solar water heating is a long-term commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. 

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

Switching to energy-efficient water heating solutions significantly reduces carbon emissions and supports the use of renewable energy sources, promoting a more sustainable lifestyle. By choosing greener options, you contribute to mitigating climate change and decreasing the reliance on fossil fuels.

Carbon Footprint Reduction

Energy-efficient water heaters notably lower your carbon footprint. Traditional heaters, often powered by fossil fuels, emit substantial greenhouse gasses. By upgrading to energy-efficient models, you can significantly cut these emissions. For instance, heat pump water heaters utilize electricity more effectively, reducing overall energy consumption and subsequent environmental impact.

Lowering carbon emissions is crucial in the fight against climate change. Energy-efficient water heaters provide a practical solution, offering both environmental benefits and cost savings. You play a pivotal role in reducing the demand for non-renewable energy, thus supporting global sustainability efforts.

Renewable Energy Usage

Harnessing renewable energy sources like solar power for water heating reduces dependency on fossil fuels. Solar water heaters convert sunlight into energy, providing a clean and sustainable method for heating water. This significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional electric or gas water heaters.

By adopting these technologies, you not only lower your environmental impact but also promote the broader adoption of renewable energy. One Call Plumbing offers expert installation and maintenance services in Greenville & Spartanburg, ensuring your system runs efficiently and sustainably.

Making this switch not only supports personal eco-friendly initiatives, but also contributes to larger global efforts to combat climate change. These systems often qualify for government incentives, further reducing the financial barrier to adopting green technologies.

Costs and Savings

When it comes to energy-efficient water heating solutions, understanding the financial impact is crucial. We’ll explore the cost-effectiveness and incentives available to help you make an informed decision.

Analyzing Cost-Effectiveness

Investing in an energy-efficient water heater can significantly reduce your energy costs over time. Although the upfront cost may be higher compared to traditional water heaters, the long-term savings on your utility bills can offset this initial investment.

Energy-efficient models such as tankless water heaters or heat pump water heaters typically use less energy, leading to lower monthly expenses. In addition, these systems often have longer lifespans, meaning less frequent replacements. As a result, you save on both energy and replacement costs, making these options cost-effective in the long run.

Exploring Incentives and Rebates

Many states offer various incentives and rebates to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient appliances. These can significantly reduce the overall installation cost and help you recoup your investment faster.

For example, you’ll find tax credits and rebates available for purchasing and installing energy-efficient water heaters. Some utility companies also provide incentives for upgrading to more efficient systems, further lowering your energy costs.

Installation and Professional Services

Proper installation and repair services play a crucial role in the efficiency and longevity of your water heater system. Here, we explore selecting professional installation services and the benefits of expert repair services.

Choosing Professional Installation

Opting for professional installation ensures your water heater operates efficiently and safely. A licensed plumber can accurately assess your home’s requirements and recommend the best water heater type, considering factors like energy efficiency, installation cost, and warranty.

A critical component of proper installation is adherence to local codes and manufacturer specifications. Certified service providers, such as One Call Plumbing, ensure compliance, reducing the risk of future malfunctions.

Professional services also offer warranties, covering both the unit and the installation work. A reliable warranty is essential for addressing potential issues without additional costs.

Water Heater Repair Services

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are essential for extending the life of your water heater. Professional repair services can diagnose issues accurately and provide efficient solutions.

Trained plumbers can handle various issues, from minor malfunctions to significant repairs, ensuring that your system runs optimally. They can also identify underlying problems that may not be immediately apparent.

When choosing a service provider, look for those with a solid reputation, positive customer feedback, and competitive pricing. By relying on experienced professionals, you can minimize downtime and avoid costly emergencies, ensuring your water heating system remains reliable.

Adopting Smart Water Heating Controls

Using smart water heating controls can significantly enhance the efficiency of your water heater system. A smart thermostat is a vital component that helps you manage your water heater’s temperature settings conveniently.

Operating modes allow you to customize your water heater’s performance based on your needs. For instance, an energy saver mode can optimize the heater’s operation to reduce energy consumption, saving you money on utility bills.

Many modern water heaters come with an intuitive control panel. This panel provides real-time updates and lets you set schedules or adjust settings with ease. Additionally, frequent energy saver updates ensure the system remains efficient and effective over time.

Smart thermostats also enable remote control via smartphone apps, allowing you to adjust the temperature even when you’re not at home. This feature not only offers convenience but also promotes energy conservation by reducing the heating load when hot water is not needed.

Benefits of Smart Water Heating Controls:

  • Enhanced efficiency through optimized temperature settings
  • Convenient control via mobile apps
  • Scheduled operations to match your daily routines
  • Real-time updates for continuous peak performance

Additional Considerations

When optimizing your water heating solution for energy efficiency, consider the appropriate size and capacity of the heater, and potential energy savings for businesses.

Water Heater Size and Capacity

Choosing the right water heater size and capacity is vital for efficiency and meeting your household demands. Larger families often require a unit with greater capacity to ensure sufficient hot water during peak usage times.

A typical way to measure capacity is by the tank size for storage heaters or the flow rate for tankless models. A tank heater might range from 30 to 80 gallons, while the flow rate for tankless heaters can be measured in gallons per minute (GPM). A higher GPM is essential for homes with multiple showers or appliances running simultaneously.

Oversized heaters can lead to unnecessary energy consumption, while undersized units might not meet your hot water needs. 

Energy Saving for Businesses

Businesses can significantly reduce energy costs by implementing energy-efficient water heating solutions. Commercial properties often experience high hot water demand, making advanced systems like tankless water heaters or heat pump water heaters beneficial due to their efficiency and quick recovery rates.

Switching to high-efficiency units can lower operational costs. Regular maintenance and timely upgrades prevent inefficiencies. One Call Plumbing provides expert advice and services for businesses in Greenville and Spartanburg, offering solutions tailored to the specific needs of commercial environments.

Proper system sizing and energy-efficient fixtures, such as those mentioned in Commercial Plumbing Fixtures, contribute to considerable energy savings. Utilizing these services ensures your business remains efficient while reducing its carbon footprint.